You're running around, scrambling to buy that last online present today, because you thought you were ahead (Christmas is over a week away, and you've already bought 90% of your gifts), and suddenly your old faithful online retailers are threatening you that things may not arrive by Christmas unless you select super-duper-magic shipping - whaaaat??? - and you still have to clean the house and make food for the week and plan a menu for Christmas and wrap the presents and put up some more decorations and buy a tree and do at least one adorable cute Christmas thing and you haven't even STARTED baking cookies oh good grief.
But I am here to help. (Actually, I cannot be trusted in any way, unless maybe you call me personally, because I would feel guilty about betraying you under those circumstances, but I am totally willing to betray the internet at large, mostly with psyops, because it's the internet and it deserves it. However, I use my own prior blog posts as a recipe file - whenever I get one fine-tuned that I'll want to use again and haven't got memorized yet, I put it on the blog; my approach to blog content is strictly: What do I want to read? - so you run the risk that I'm a lousy cook or a lousy editor, but I would never deliberately post an inaccurate recipe. Don't you feel better already? Merry Christmas.)
In general, candy is more difficult and time-consuming to make than cookies. Therefore, if you make candies, you somehow automatically get more moral credit than if you make cookies. The Joy of Cooking even explains that truffles are the easiest candy to make (and I have now made hundreds of truffles, and I can assure you that they are actually easier than Joy's recipe would make them. But they will still take you 12-14 hours. And no, I would not lie about something this important), driving this point home most forcefully. (Of course you could come up with a cookie recipe that would take 20 hours, but those would be difficult cookies, whereas truffles are easy candy - see?) But Joy forgot something.
Fudge is also candy, and it's infinitely faster and easier to make than truffles. I always thought it was time-consuming and difficult (and with some recipes, I am sure this is true), so I had actually never made it myself, but last year I stumbled on an easy fudge recipe from another blogger (whose identity I have unforgivably forgotten) and it changed my life.
And since then, I have made her recipe even easier. That's just the kind of person I am (lazy). So if the idea of making even one large batch of cookies seems an enormously daunting task, then you don't love cookies as much as I do. Ahem. What I meant to say was, if the idea of making even one large batch of cookies seems an enormously daunting task, what if I told you you could have a delicious batch of sweets that would get you all kinds of credit for domesticity but are gluten-free, don't require you to haul out the mixer, have four ingredients, don't need baking, and will dirty only one dish and one spatula, and you could finish them in less time than it has already taken you to read this truly endless blog post about something ludicrously simple? (Polonius wasn't real and I don't have to listen to him.) That's what I thought.
Here's what you do. I'll write it out in my Dickensian prose, and it will still be short. Ready?
Take a rectangular-ish glass baking dish approximately 9" by 9". Pour in two twelve-ounce bags of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips. Shake them level. Pour over them one fourteen-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk. Spread it around sort of evenly; no need to be overly precise. Drip 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract over this, and then shake on 1/8 teaspoon salt. Pop the dish in the microwave on high for one minute. Distract yourself with something else for a few minutes. Suddenly remember the fudge, and then put it in for another minute on high. Take it out and mix it to evenness with a rubber spatula. Take special care to turn over the very bottom so there is no un-mixed sweetened condensed milk hiding down there. Pop it in to refrigerate for two hours. Thereafter, it can be kept at room temperature, and it is at this point that you can cut it into squares and put them on a cute plate.
If this isn't complicated enough for you, you could divide the batch in half after the microwaving, and combine one half with 1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract, just for kicks. Try cutting that one in a different shape after it's cooled, so people don't have to smell each piece before they decide which one they want.